Panorama sprinkler project nets $177,000 grant from federal government

Federal infrastructure money will be used to help complete safety upgrade in rec centre

A federal Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund grant of $177,000 will help Panorama Recreation Centre finish off planned improvements to its fire protection sprinkler system.

Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan was in North Saanich Thurs., Aug. 29 to announce the money.

In his short comments during a media event, Duncan said the grant will help ensure public safety, as well as provide jobs and growth.

The grant is much-needed, said Ron Rieberger, manager of facilities and operations at Panorama. The facility has been upgrading its sprinkler and fire protection system since first being required to do so in 2003 during change room renovations.

The money, he continued, will be used to extend sprinkler infrastructure from other parts of  Panorama to the twin ice arenas and lobby space between them. In addition to helping ensure better fire protection and safety to the 500,000-plus visitors to the facility each year, Riegerber added the upgrade will help Panorama when it comes time to expand the ice arena lobby area.

“This grant covers half of the expected costs of the project,” Riegerber said, adding the work should be completed by March, 2014.

Carl Jensen, chair of the Peninsula Recreation Commission, thanks the federal government for its support.

“Without this grant, we wouldn’t have been able to complete this upgrade,” he said. “Every dollar helps us deliver better service and better programming every year.”

Panorama senior manager Ian Hennigar credited Riegerber and Manager of Program Services Kerry Broome for their successful grant application.